Article 10 – Targeted and integrated support services for children

Article 10 – Targeted and integrated support services for children

1) Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure the availability of child-friendly targeted and integrated specialist services for children to provide for age-appropriate support and protection necessary to comprehensively address the multitude of needs of child victims.

2) Targeted and integrated support services for child victims shall provide for a coordinated multi-agency mechanism that includes the following services:

the provision of information;
medical examination;
emotional and psychological support;
possibility of crime reporting;
e) individual assessment of protection and support needs referred to in Article 22;
f) video recording of testimonies referred to in Article 34.

3) The services referred to in paragraph 2 shall be provided within the same premises.

COMMENTARY – Article 10

The European Commission proposed a new article, 9a, on targeted and integrated support services for children. In the explanatory memorandum, the Commission indicates that a child-sensitive approach remains problematic in many Member States, demonstrating a need for a targeted and multi-agency approach to support and protect child victims throughout proceedings; such as highlighted by the principles of Barnahus model. VSE is supportive of this proposal since multi-agency solutions for child victims (or at least for child abuse victims and other types of child victims) are generally recognised as good practice.

VSE suggests including access to legal aid in the list of accessible services, given that children are likely to have less agency and less ability to navigate these aspects – either because of their age and maturity, their legal competence, or the emotional whirlwind they are experiencing. Having specialists on their side to understand and navigate the legal and administrative aspects, including residence procedures if applicable, ensures that victims can meaningfully participate in proceedings, where necessary, and takes into account child-friendly justice principles.